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Widow of Console founder to face trial over fraud

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Court: Kelly faces counts of fraudulent trading. Picture: Collins

Court: Kelly faces counts of fraudulent trading. Picture: Collins

Court: Kelly faces counts of fraudulent trading. Picture: Collins

The wife of Console founder Paul Kelly is to stand trial accused of fraudulent trading and concealing crime proceeds of the suicide prevention charity.

Former chief executive Mr Kelly took his own life last February 9, the night before he was to be charged with financial irregularities at Console.

Yesterday, his wife Patricia Kelly (58), a former Console director, was brought before Judge Victor Blake at Dublin District Court.

She faces two counts of fraudulent trading by Console Suicide Bereavement, between December 2006 and July 2016.

These offences were contrary to the 1963 and 2014 Companies Acts.

The third charge was for money laundering, in which it was alleged that from September 2010 until July 2016 she concealed or disguised the true nature, location, movement or ownership of properties of Console, which were proceeds of criminal conduct.

It follows an investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), in conjunction with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

The probe began after the 2016 documentary programme 'RTÉ Investigates - Broken Trust' about the charity, which has gone into liquidation.

Ms Kelly, now on social welfare, was ordered to appear again on April 17 to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial to a higher court.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Garda Detective Glenn MacKessy.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed trial on indictment, in the Circuit Court. There was no objection to bail in her own bond of €200 subject to several conditions being imposed.

Dressed in a navy winter coat and black trousers, Ms Kelly sat shaking at the side of the courtroom. Her solicitor James MacGuill described his client as nervous and told Judge Blake "she will be contesting the charges".

Judge Blake said she would have to sign on once a week at Naas garda station.

Irish Independent